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What routine exams do I need if I have inflammatory bowel disease?

Healthcare maintenance is very important in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It's very important that you get routine monitoring with your gastroenterologist, which includes a physical exam and laboratory tests. The frequency depends on your symptoms and also what medications you take. If you've been on steroids for greater than 90 days of your life, you need at least one bone densitometry because steroids can increase your risk for osteoporosis and osteopenia.

You will also need routine eye and dental exams because dental cavities and infections, particularly if you're on immunosuppressive medications, can increase your risk for complications. Periodically, you do need colonoscopies and skin exams. You will need to stop smoking and make sure that all your vaccinations are up-to-date. These are issues that you should discuss with your IBD specialist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.